JCC PresenTense Chicago   Class of 2012

Menachem Cohen is the founding Rabbi of the Mitziut Jewish Community in Chicago and of Congregation B'nai haMidbar and the Black Rock JCC, at Burning Man. He received smicha in 2003 from the Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf. Since June of 2006 he has served as a Youth Outreach Rabbi with the Night Ministry, working with homeless and/or GLBTQ youth on the streets of Chicago. Recently he helped form the Spiritual Affairs committee of OccupyChicago. His interests include halacha and the paradigm shift, how our text, liturgy and calendar lead us through our psycho-spiritual journeys, comic books and Jewish sub-cultures, not to mention his son Zev. After graduating from Beloit College with a degree in English: Creative Writing and a minor in Women's Studies he worked for Little Brothers/Friends of the Elderly in Minneapolis and the Center on Deafness in Northbrook, IL. He then earned an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before pursuing the rabbinate. Rabbi Menachem was a member of the Jewish Emergent Intitative/Synagogue3000 Working Group on Emerging Sacred Communities with Rabbi Lopatin of Anshe Shalom.


Synagogue without Walls

Founded by Menachem Cohen

Venture Facts

Community Organizing

There are a lot of un-reached, disconnected Jews in Chicagoland. I want to find them, whereever they may be--funky dance parties, social justice actions, poetry readings, comic book conventions, etc.--and be available to them as a Rabbi, be a positive connection to Judaism, and help them discover how our traditions and community are relevant in the world today.

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